pink salmon

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Pink salmon seem to be showing up everywhere in creeks and along beaches all around Kachemak Bay and the outer coast of the Peninsula. Pinks are returning to systems that have historically never supported salmon. That has caused some head scratching in the fishing community, and there are differing theories as to why pinks are colonizing new systems.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Pink salmon are showing up in odd places around the Homer area. Fish can be seen swimming through Beluga Slough in the middle of town, a saltwater marsh with no historical salmon returns.

Dead pinks litter the slough’s muddy banks at low tide and several fish are still swimming around. Alaska Department of Fish and Game Area Management Biologist Glenn Hollowell said there have also been reports of fish in other systems around Homer and along the outer coast of the Kenai Peninsula.

Fish and Game

This year’s pink salmon return in Lower Cook Inlet has been a good one. About 1 million fish have been harvested in the southern and outer districts around Kachemak Bay.  Alaska Department of Fish and Game Area Management Biologist Gelnn Hollowell said the return is coming in strong, but it hasn’t overwhelmed the fleet.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Fishermen wondering about this year’s pink return in Lower Cook Inlet will have to wait another week to get their answer, but so far, the signs are good.

“However, there are a couple of things that give us pause,” said Glenn Hollowell, an Alaska Department of Fish and Game fisheries biologist. “One of which, is last year’s pink return, which was really quite abysmal. It was one of the worst on record for this area for many returns,”

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Up until Monday, numbers of pink salmon returning to Prince William Sound looked like they may be a repeat of last year’s dismal run, but the fish are beginning to show up and the harvest is underway.

“On Monday, the common property fishery took about 2.5 million fish. Yesterday, it’s looking about 1.2 million,” Charles Russel said, Alaska Fish and Game’s Area Management Biologist for the Prince William Sound area. “Today, initial reports say that fisheries may be close to yesterday, but we’re a little bit behind, but still catching good numbers of fish.”